Calia secundiflora

Accession Count: 94
Common Name: Texas Mountain Laurel
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Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Calia secundiflora
Synonyms:
Botanical Synonyms: Sophora secundiflora
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: Sophora secundiflora, most commonly referred to as the Texas Mountain Laurel, can grow from just a few feet tall to up to 30 feet. It is an evergreen with small, shiny, leather-like leaves. The leaves are odd-pinnate with 7-13 leaflets that are two inches long. Purple flowers bloom in early spring and give off a strong fragrance similar to the smell of grapes. (3) The leaves are odd-pinnate which have seven to thirteen leaflets that are two inches long. 
Compound: Sop sec
Geographic Origin: Texas/Northeast Mexico
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History:  The Texas mountain laurel is native to the Chihuahuan Desert. where it grows well in the mountain range that starts from Texas to southern New Mexico into old Mexico (9).
Cultivation Notes:  Sophora secundiflora is grown best in rocky soils, especially those containing limestone (6). This plant is drought tolerant and requires infrequent watering. (7) The Texas mountain laurel thrives under adverse conditions. The species is often recognized by its flowers that have a fragrance of grape kool-aid. The water use recommendation is none to twice a month. Hardiness is 5ºF.
Ethnobotany: Indigenous peoples valued the red seeds, which formed a near lacquer form, and they used these seeds for ceremonies and ornament use. (1)  In addition, these seeds were known to be very poisonous and acted as a hallucinogen or narcotic at times, and in some instances, it had ceremonial relations with nicotine. (7) Attracts birds, butterflies, and caterpillars through its scented flowers. 

Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width: 11 - 15 feet
Growth Rate: Slow Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: Purple
Function: Shade
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive:
Toxicity: Toxic
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use

Citations:
1. Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson. "Sophora Secundiflora: Texas Mountain Laurel." EDIS New Publications RSS. Environmental Horticulture, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
2. "Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California." Sophora Secundiflora: Mescal Bean / Texas Mountain Laurel. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
3. "Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert." Plant Detail Basics | Arizona Municipal Water Users Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
4. "Mountain Laurel, Mescalbean." Mountain Laurel. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017. "Plant Database." Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
5. "Sophora Secundiflora." Sophora Secundiflora. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017. "Sophora Secundiflora,Texas Mountain Laurel, Mescal Bean." Austin Native Landscaping - Xeriscape.
6. Design. Installation. N.p., 04 May 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2017. 
7. "Texas Native Plants Database." Texas Native Plants Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017
8. Walters, James E, and Balbir Backhaus. Shade and Color with Water-Conserving Plants. Timber Press, 1992.
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Calia secundiflora